Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This is not the first time, but, the first time for an administration that wants to close down the borders.

This form of border crossing will become more popular and desperate people do desperate things. I don't know why this truck wasn't found and stopped.

July 24, 2017
By Frank Bajak and Nomann Merchant

The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, (click here) crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 150-mile trip north to San Antonio.

It wasn't long before the passengers, sweating profusely in the rising oven-like heat, started crying and pleading for water. Children whimpered. People took turns breathing through a single hole in the wall. They pounded on the sides of the truck and yelled to try to get the driver's attention. Then they began passing out.

By the time police showed up at a Walmart in San Antonio around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and looked in the back of the truck, eight passengers were dead and two more would soon die in an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone tragically awry.

The details of the journey were recounted Monday by a survivor who spoke to The Associated Press and in a federal criminal complaint against the driver, James Matthew Bradley, who could face the death penalty over the 10 lives lost....

The way this is stopped is through x-rays into the truck. This photo is from 2011. This is a better x-ray than most. Some of the x-rays showed skeletons. The power of the ray was too strong. But, this definitely shows people inside a truck. There is no law that allows people as freight, except, buses.


18 May 2011
By Paul Bentley


Packed together (click here) in the tightest of cabins, with little air to breathe and no space at all in which to move, the migrants in this picture show just how far some will go to try to sneak into America.
Mexican police found the 513 agonisingly squashed together in two trucks just outside Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas - an eye-watering 18-hour-drive away from the nearest US border.
They were caught when the trucks sped through a vehicle scanner at a police checkpoint. After the astonishing X-ray image came up on screens, police gave chase, finding 240 people in one truck and 273 crammed into the other....

Just look at that mess. These trucks have to be stopped to realize what people are inside. Enemy or desperate illegal immigrant.

The Maverick is back calling for bipartisan health care reform. That is no surprise. He has always reached across the aisle.

July 25, 2017
By Elana Shor

...McCain waved spiritedly (click here) to a throng of reporters as he entered the chamber he’s called home for 30 years, served as the crucial 50th vote to proceed to a repeal debate, and then delivered a passionate speech undercutting the “shell of a bill” he had just agreed to take up.

“Our health care insurance system is a mess,” McCain said on the floor, adding of Obamacare: “We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will. All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.”...

...McCain said he plans to remain in the Senate in order to manage floor consideration of the annual defense authorization bill, part of his duties as Armed Services chairman, before returning to Arizona for further treatment of his glioblastoma — the same type of tumor that killed his friend, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

"I have every intention of returning here and giving many of you cause to regret all the nice things you said about me," he said....
     

Buyer beware.

The most recent body count that I have seen is 87 persons dead from 12 apartments.

July 25, 2017
By Rachel Roberts

Arconic (click here) made profits of $212m in the second quarter of the year as it moves to absolve itself of responsibility for fire.

The firm that supplied the cladding used on Grenfell Tower has reported higher than expected profits as it moves to absolve itself of blame for the devastating fire.

Arconic made profits of $212m (£162m) in the three months to the end of June - the period including the 14 June inferno that killed at least 80 people - an increase of 57 per cent from the same quarter of the previous year. 

It has announced it will no longer sell its Reynobond PE panels for high-rise blocks because it has no control over their installation.

It also raised its forecast for annual revenue to $12.7bn (£9.7) from $12.3bn (£9.4), thanks to better than expected sales....

The products used in these deaths has to be outlawed based on chemical structure, otherwise, another company or a new name of the same company can circumvent the law.

5 July 2017
By Nicole Morley

...Police investigating the Grenfell Tower disaster (click here) stressed that ‘the catastrophic damage’ inside means the grim discoveries are not thought to be ’87 people’.

Commander Stuart Cundy, who is overseeing the Metropolitan Police response to the fire said: ‘On Monday, we forensically recovered the last of the visible human remains from Grenfell Tower and transferred them to Westminster Mortuary.

‘In total we have made 87 recoveries, but I must stress that the catastrophic damage inside Grenfell Tower means that is not 87 people....

In the UK, the product is outlawed BY INSPECTION of the siding, but, after the fact.  There needs to be standards that reflect the inspection of materials before they are used as siding. That really should not be an issue. The builders know the products they will use, otherwise, they could not decide on a sales price without doing that. It is about regulating the acquisition of materials for buildings either with human employees or residents.

...Since the fire (click here) – the deadliest in the UK for more than a century – tests have shown that at least 149 high-rise buildings in 45 different local authorities in the UK have failed cladding safety tests....

Looks as though Interim CEO David Hess is looking forward to a bonus.

Arconic Second Quarter Report 2017 (click here)

Net income attributable to Arconic in the second quarter of 2017 was $212 million, or $0.43 per share. The results include $47 million in special items, including a gain on the debt-for-equity exchange of Alcoa Corporation shares, which is intended to qualify as generally tax-free to Arconic for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This was partially offset by costs associated with the early redemption of debt; proxy, advisory and governance-related costs; and restructuring-related charges.

Excluding special items, second quarter 2017 adjusted income was $165 million, or $0.32 per share. All segments delivered higher volumes while maintaining focus on cost reduction savings. Annualized return on net assets (RONA) was 8.7% based on the results of the first half of 2017.

Second quarter Consolidated adjusted EBITDA was $444 million, up 3% year over year. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA excluding special items was $486 million, up 2% year over year. Adjusted EBITDA margin excluding special items was 14.9%, up 20 basis points year over year.

“Arconic delivered another solid quarter. The business increased revenue and profitability, continued to expand margins and take out cost. We ended the first half of 2017 with significantly less debt, a strong cash position and good liquidity. We are pleased to update our guidance for the year, reflecting our increased confidence in 2017 performance,” said Arconic Interim Chief Executive Officer David Hess....

It seems unclear to me from the information on line if the problem with the sheeting panels is the materials and/or the manufacturing.

Environmentally sound products is the selling point, but, it goes on to say a number of materials can be incorporated into the sheeting to create any architectural design.

Reynobond® Design Line, (click here) an innovative paint breakthrough using Duragloss™ DL, an advanced polymer finish, featuring nature-inspired patterns and textures that are ideal for outdoor project applications.  Design Line™ finishes resist sun, extreme temperatures, humidity – even salt water.  The Duragloss™ DL paint finish is made to last, with a 20-year warranty.

These environmentally sound products are virtually indistinguishable from nature’s own creations. Looking to add to a natural, but unique touch to your aesthetic design – incorporate wood, mineral, stone or patina finishes into your next project, and without sacrificing the environment.  And, enjoy the same benefits from Reynobond Aluminum Composite Material, from its remarkable strength and flatness to its formability and light weight. Even the most challenging architectural concepts are easy to accomplish. See our nature-inspired Design Line™ finishes in our new Architecture Color Chart.


In order to get to the bottom of these disasters, Reynolds Aluminum should be in any and all lawsuits.

The idea wood, of all things, can be incorporated into sheeting containing two panels of aluminum is hideous. They heat and burn at different temperatures. That holds true for the other materials of mineral, stone and patina finishes. All these elements are different in chemical composition and have different freezing, heating and burning temperatures.

Reynodual (click here) is the only coil-coated double sheet aluminium panel in todays' market. Reynodual has been tested and approved by the CSIRO for use when a 100% non-combustable material is required.

They advertise it as a non-combustible product. It sure doesn't seem like it. 

It seems to me the fire ignites almost simultaneously because of the molecular composition. If there are conflicting temperatures throughout the exterior sheeting then the building will be reaching a tipping point at the same time. Once one section is hot enough to erupt into flames, the entire building covered in the sheeting will be reacting the same way. I don't think the sheeting causes a fire in one location that spreads, I think the sheeting explodes at the same time. 

Reynobond® Architecture aluminium composite panels with FR or A2 core, Reynolux® aluminium sheets and Reynodual® double sheet aluminium panels are certified fire solutions, reaching the high-level standards of the European fire classification EN-13501-1.

There is another brand if Reynolds sheeting carried by Arconic as well. It comes down to the specific molecular composition of the sheeting or siding or whatever one wants to call it depending on the culture of the product. Molecular analysis will nail down the exact product. With so many to choose from it requires that level of analysis to decide EXACTLY the product composition. There is nothing to say the wrong sheeting was used either.

The UK should not give up understanding this fire as many people around the world could be at stake. No matter the final analysis there are the same two companies involved Arconic and Reynolds. It is in the best interests of these companies to be an open book to the UK investigators to solve this mystery. I WOULD NOT LET THE COMPANIES SOLVE THE MYSTERY. But, they should provide details, without exposing patents, of the materials and manufacturing of the sheeting that exploded.

"Deals" under Trump compromise quality of life and economic stability of allied countries.

Many Americans don't eat food from Wall Street sources. "GMO Free" or "Non-GMO" is the cry for Americans these days and organic markets and cooperatives are cropping up everywhere. This is a Wall Street issue because they can't sell these tainted foods to Americans the way they used to. Literally, Wall Street is dumping their garbage on other countries compliments of Trump.

There is nothing wrong with the British seeking only food from trusted sources. "Made in the USA" under Trump may not work out after all.

Some of the culprits might not be found on grocery shelves so much as the fast food lines. I'll put it this way, I've never seen a McDonald's with the sign on the menu "No GMO." 

July 25, 2017
By Rob Merrick

Theresa May (click here) is warned today that opening the door to low-quality food from the United States  after Brexit could spell disaster for both British farmers and animal protection.

Slashing food regulations in order to strike a quick trade deal with Washington would spark “a race to the bottom for welfare standards”, says a report by a House of Lords committee.


Such a deal could also “undermine the sustainability of the industry” – making UK farmers “uncompetitive” against cheap, imported food produced without the same rules on quality.


The stark warning comes after Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, mocked fears about the sale of chlorine-soaked chickens in Britain after Brexit – describing the prospect as “a detail”.

Speaking in Washington, Mr Fox confirmed a cabinet split, dismissing protests that US farmers use the chemical washes to make up for inadequate hygiene on farms and abattoirs.

Other concerns surround US practices such as the use of hormones in beef and the growth of genetically modified crops....

...In today’s report, the peers point out that “high farm animal welfare standards can be a selling point for UK producers” and enjoy universal support as a “public good”....

If these are the type of trade deal Trump is touting as a boom to American business, then it will never work. Americans don't put up with this. They'll eat British imports long before they will eat "pink slime."

"...If you go to Canada or other countries they have standards, right?... So they don't sanitize the beef...."

Monday, July 24, 2017

What is wrong with American healthcare? Nothing, expect, greed.

No one makes the argument for "Single Payer" healthcare, but, let me point to "Emcare" as the primary reason why there needs to be a massive change in the cost of healthcare insurance.

EmCare (click here)

Part of the problem with a political agenda that includes "Single Payer" is that the specifics are not discussed enough and there is too much wiggle room for lies and political rhetoric. 

Does anyone actually believe the cost of health care insurance is going to come down? Why should it? THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM is suppose to work to maintain costs. It will never work if there are companies, like EmCare, that simply don't care what they charge patients. They don't care. They want their money and they will get it.

Interesting though is the way EmCare is going about it.

July 24, 2017
By Julie Creswell, Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz

Early last year, (click here) executives at a small hospital an hour north of Spokane, Wash., started using a company called EmCare to staff and run their emergency room. The hospital had been struggling to find doctors to work in its E.R., and turning to EmCare was something hundreds of other hospitals across the country had done.

That’s when the trouble began.

Before EmCare, about 6 percent of patient visits in the hospital’s emergency room were billed for the most complex, expensive level of care. After EmCare arrived, nearly 28 percent got the highest-level billing code.

On top of that, the hospital, Newport Hospital and Health Services, was getting calls from confused patients who had received surprisingly large bills from the emergency room doctors. Although the hospital had negotiated rates for its fees with many major health insurers, the EmCare physicians were not part of those networks and were sending high bills directly to the patients. For a patient needing care with the highest-level billing code, the hospital’s previous physicians had been charging $467; EmCare’s charged $1,649...

EmCare is not an insurance company. It is not a hospital. It is a subcontractor for care that is given hospital privileges, in what appears to be, rural hospitals. They don't have to answer to insurance commissioners or any regulation, they simply decide if they want to purchase their next yacht and charge their patients accordingly.

That is clever. Very clever. EmCare is in emergency rooms. Not surgical suites, but, the most delicate place in a hospital where life and death are in the balance.

How do they do it? 

July 24, 2017
By  Mike Cummings

A new study by Yale researchers (click here) of more than 8.9 million visits to emergency departments (EDs) reveals that a small group of predominantly for-profit hospitals in the United States have the highest concentration of out-of-network ED billing rates: While 50% of hospitals have out-of-network billing rates below 5%, 15% of hospitals have out-of-network billing rates above 80%.

The researchers previously found that 22% of privately insured individuals who went to in-network hospitals were treated by out-of-network physicians and thereby potentially exposed to significant unexpected costs. In their new study, they also found that recent legislation in New York State has been effective at reducing the incidence of out-of-network-billing, but that policy makers could do more to better protect consumers....

The billing comes from EmCare as an OUT OF NETWORK provider. A healthcare insurance consumer may very well seek pre-approval even on the way to the ER, but, it doesn't matter because the physicians treating him are not in network.

In California, dialysis centers found they would be paid better if their patients were not on a government medical insurance program. They took it on themselves to see to it their patients had health care insurance from the exchanges. There was nothing illegal about it. It caused the cost of healthcare to increase.

If Senator Bernie Sanders is looking at the same paradigm shift I am, there is no answer to the corruption entering the healthcare industry spawned by greed.

Physican groups such as EmCare will drop out of insurance carrier after insurance carrier to bill independently as Non-Network providers.

Single Payer is not about ideology. Single Payer answers this level of corruption with a solution and that is what Senator Sanders is looking at. No matter how many provisions are built in to the Affordable Care Act to bend the cost of health care down, it won't happen because there is too much greed and corruption in the costs.

The Affordable Care Act didn't seek to change the infrastructure of health care delivery, it sought to support it while containing the costs and over time reduce the costs to consumers. Some of that belongs to Americans. If they take advantage of their free annual physical and take their physicians advice the cost of health care will come down because of a healthier America. That is still in play, but, emergency rooms are emergency rooms and EmCare chose the one place in the hospital that no matter how healthy Americans become they will still need emergency rooms.

Single Payer would insure all Americans. It would contain costs by the fees it pays for services including practicing physician SALARIES and not simply COSTS. A physician would receive a salary like any other professional in this country, except lawyers.

The fraud will stop because the billing and fee schedule will be simple and straight forward.

Why don't Republicans want this? The obvious answer is that Wall Street would be hurt by such a system. But, it is more than that. Physicians are among the largest political donors in state elections. Not federal, but, state. If all the physicians in a given state are receiving basically the same salary (specialists would be paid more) who is going to pay for political favors? What would the political favors be? Raise in salary? Nope, that is not a concern. Whenever a salaried person is working directly for any government there are unions to guarantee outcomes the members are looking for. Physicians would have unions to protect them no different than workers on production lines. 

Single Payer will end the abuse of the USA health care system and begin to address the needs of all Americans. For those running for office in support of Single Payer, they will need graphs and charts to explain how it works and where care will be better with lack of corruption and of course the US dollars involved. There are aspect of Single Payer that is not a hard sell.

The other company mentioned in the Yale study is "TeamHealth." (click here)

Two companies. ONLY two companies that specialize in Out of Network physicians. ONLY TWO, causing all this grief to Americans. This MUST be addressed before the entire system is out of sync with reality and the TRUE cost of healthcare.

CLINICIANS

Love what you do, plus where and how you do it 

TeamHealth recruits everyone from residents to Advance Practice Physicians. They do not specialize in one department of the hospital to place their Out of Network Clinicians; they place them in the ER, OR, Anesthesiology, Hospital Medicine and its sub-specialties, behavior health, ambulatory care and Post acute care. Oh, is that all? Why not just staff an entire hospital and bill patients directly for OUT OF NETWORK costs.

Hippocratic Oath, Modern Medicine (click here)

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

For the first time in the thirteen year history, its founder Michael Moore will not be attending.

Mr. Moore is beginning his limited engagement of "The Terms of My Surrender" on July 28th. The film festival is from July 25th through the 30th. He will be missed. People could always find him at screenings, panel discussions and the awards ceremony at the end of the festival. This year TCFF is flying on it's own and so far so good.

Everyone is wishing Michael Moore a successful run of his show and congratulations on the addition of Michael Mayer. It should be a good show. I hope his security is intact as it always has to be considering the fact he tends to be a lightning rod of one sort or the other. The novelty is that he was the one person who predicted Donald Trump would win the primary and the election. Hence. "Terms of My Surrender." 

I think the dedication to his show is obvious. He is not at the festival and that is simply unheard of. He is carrying out his own priorities and worrying less about the passions of the past. Good luck, Mr. Moore.

May 1, 2017

Academy Award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author Michael Moore (click here) is set to make his theatrical debut with The Terms of My Surrender, a subversive new solo play and cross-examination of America’s political climate, that will take aim at the current administrationThe show will open on Broadway this summer with direction by Tony winner Michael Mayer.

The Terms of My Surrender is set to begin a limited 12-week engagement July 28 at the Belasco Theatre, ahead of an August 10 opening.

“I think what the world needs right now is Michael Moore standing on a Broadway stage sharing his hilarious stories and incendiary political perspective, creating the kind of dialogue that can only happen in the theatre,” says Mayer in a press statement.

The Terms of My Surrender will be performed by Moore live each night, and will feature his signature wry, satirical humor. The show will pose the question: “Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?”

Flip through the photos below of his announcement at Sardi’s:

The design team includes a set by Tony winner David Rockwell (Falsettos, She Loves Me), lighting design by four-time Tony winner Kevin Adams(Hedwig..., American Idiot), sound design by two-time Tony winner Brian Ronan (Book of Mormon, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), costumes by Tony nominee Jeff Mahshie (She Loves Me, Next to Normal), video and projection designs by Andrew Lazarow, and movement direction by Noah Racey. IMG Original Content and Carole Shorenstein Hays are the producers, with 101 Productions serving as executive producer.

Tickets for The Terms of My Surrender are $29–$149 and are now available at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit MichaelMooreOnBroadway.com.                      

What are you doing this week? This is just one film at the Traverse City Film Festival 2017. Join us.

Revenge and retribution is a strong driver of violence in the Middle East. The films Asghar Farhadi is involved in are nothing short of poignant.

I remember the first Iranian film I ever saw and it was at the TCFF years ago. It was not a Farhadi film. It was about 90 minute film of a father and son that fashioned satellite dishes for media reception. They found a way to hammer sheets of metal into satellite dishes, would deliver them to residents in tenement buildings by bicycle. The roof tops were full of satellite dishes. 

Eventually, the Iranian government (under Ahmadinejad) would show up and remove all the satellite dishes. That was good news for the father and son team, because, the residents would order more satellite dishes.

It provided a magnificent glimpse of the Iranian people, their resourcefulness and their desire to be part of the world, too. 

The TCFF brings films from around the world to the people attending. The festival is about the directors and some producers. They are respected at the festival and attend parties dedicated to the Directors of independent film. There is a great deal going on all the time.

Come and visit, it is worth it. There is even an Open Space where films are shown every evening for free. There is also cutting edge technology at a venue called "The Woz." Dutmers Theater is a specialized venue where thought is the experiment. 

Hope to see you there!

Ianian director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”) made global headlines for boycotting the 2017 Oscars in protest of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Despite the backlash, Farhadi won the Best Foreign Language Oscar for his minimalist masterpiece—a simmering domestic thriller with masterful Hitchcockian suspense and twists. Married couple Eman and Rana are starring together in a local production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” when a violent assault upends their lives. Eman is disastrously driven to seek revenge, more motivated than he realizes by his portrayal of Willy Loman, a character who similarly struggled with his inability to provide for his wife. A climactic final act brings the parallel between Miller’s play and Eman and Rana’s lives to a quietly devastating conclusion. Tragic and transcendent, it will leave you breathless.

.

44 years of believing the Republican rhetoric has produced Republican radicals and not conservatives.

The Trumpcare repeal is not about the American people regardless of the two years that are suppose to reform the Affordable Care Act. He plays the American people for fools.

Does anyone believe that the Affordable Care Act will be reformed in the two year window of the Trumpcare repeal bill? Heck, no. Those two years will be another election slogan of "Repeal Obamacare." There won't be a replacement and the American people know that.

The Trump Care act is exactly that, another Republican rhetorical political trump card for political volleys. 

DNC Chairman Perez needs to stop the infighting.

How many times does it have to be said, "The Democratic Party needs to be the party of the people, 24/7 and 50 states all the time." Not just during election seasons that bring about victory, but, all the time. That means the DNC has an organized effort to promote their policies and vision. 

NO MORE CHEAP SEATS. When the DNC invests in an American Vision that is real and works, the country will come together.

Tom Perez has a tough job. The 2016 elections were not only invaded by Russians, they were divisive within the party with a missing generation finding their own voice in Senator Bernie Sanders. At this point, Tom Perez should be meeting with Senator Sanders and finding in roads to keep the democracy, NOT JUST THE PARTY, but the American democracy intact.

As a side note, Kid Rock is running for US Senator. The Republican grassroots pundits are look to Kid Rock, not "The Rock" as an icon to drive Democrats to their side.

July 24, 2017
By Alex Seitz-Wald

Providence, R.I. — Democrats (click here) have a very rare opportunity coming up to win when it matters most — if they can get their base to pay attention.
The upcoming slate of governors races combines an unusually favorable map for Democrats with a strong chance to influence the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process. That process helps determine how many seats each party holds in the House, and Republican success at the controlling the process has helped the party achieve dominance in Congress.
Washington politicos and grassroots activists alike often overlook governors races, and that’s especially true in the Democratic Party, which is years behind the GOP when it comes to investing in state races.
The party is down to just 16 out of 50 governors, the fewest in recent decades. It lost nearly 1,000 state legislative seats during President Barack Obama's eight years in the White House.
“We’ve been annihilated at the local level,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former national party chairman, told NBC News at the National Governors Association conference here last weekend. “My problem with the party is, we raise billions of dollars in the presidential year and then go away for four years until the next one.”...

The Kushner family has come full circle. They have their own private manager to make Chinese investors happy.

July 24, 2017
By James Hohmann

...Party planner Lynne Patton, (click here) who helped plan Eric Trump’s wedding but had no professional experience in housing, was appointed last month to  head the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s office for the region that covers New York and New Jersey....

The Washington Post makes the point Trump doesn't place experienced and disciplined professionals into government positions. In this case Trump has placed an inexperienced person into a government office. That very government office oversees the region of the country where the Kushners have placed their families real estate interests and where they are bringing their Chinese investors banking on a HB5 Visa as their ultimate coup against communism.

That might seem really cool, to allow communists into the American democracy, but, the reason they are here is to pad the pockets of Trump's in-laws. 

There are conscious decisions being made to increase the Trump family wealth from within the Oval Office. That is more than unethical. Trump is using the power of the USA, its policies and treasury to increase his personal wealth. Just that simple.

The Trump White House is still denying Russia had anything to do to interfere with the 2016 elections. Well. If I were Trump I'd be denying it, too.

Trump is pushing health care reform or better said, destruction because it is the bright shiny object in the room, not because the American people believe his policies are better than the ones that existed before.

As the Washington Post said, "...This gets less attention than other story lines, but it has been a hallmark of the president’s first six months in power...." 

Go, figure.
"Morning Papers"

The Rooster

"Okeydoke"

Poland is struggling to maintain it's democracy, too.

July 24, 2017
By Rick Lyman

Warsaw — Poland’s president defied expectations (click here) on Monday and vetoed two proposed laws that would have given the right-wing governing party direct control of the judiciary, in a move that had been widely condemned as a violation of democratic norms.

Poles had taken to the streets by the tens of thousands over the past week to protest the laws and to call on the president, Andrzej Duda, to veto them.

The European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, had warned Warsaw that adoption of the new laws — which the bloc’s officials said threatened the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law — would draw a sharp rebuke, potentially including court action and legal sanctions.

“I feel that the reform in this shape will not increase the sense of security and justice,” Mr. Duda said at a midmorning news conference, just before scheduled meetings with leaders of the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary, both of which would have been dramatically restructured under the proposed laws.

Later in the morning, Mr. Duda said that he would sign a third bill, which reorganizes Poland’s local courts, giving the justice minister the power to select the heads of each of the regional courts...

A middle class does not thrive under oppression. Poland is a case in point. If I were a Wall Street company and old widgets it would be in my best interest to sell as many widgets as possible. Where then are the consumers of the widgets?

Are consumers at the pinnacle of wealth? No. Why? Because they are ONLY one percent. Is my consumer the poor? No. The poor primarily have subsistence income and can't afford the widgets. The best and strongest consumers is a very healthy middle class with a sufficient income to thrive and buy widgets.

The problem with the wealthy is their need for greed. They want more and more money rather than sufficient wealth. That results in robbing the Middle Class of their disposable income limiting the number of different widgets the Middle Class can afford.

Diversifying an economy (making it local), as Warsaw has done, increasing the exposure to OPPORTUNITY to thrive by employing more people and increasing the average income to a household guarantees a vibrant Middle Class, taxable income for the local government and services to people that increase their quality of life.

Being civilized is having a Middle Class. The Middle Class is where opportunity happens. It is where there is income not necessary to 'just pay the bills.' It is the place where education matters and increases a country's brain trusts. The Middle Class and it's unions are the most important function of a democracy. 

Poland embraced unions and there is no reason to end that enthusiasm. No reason at all. Employers do just fine when there are unions as it increases their consumer base. Warsaw, Poland is now a city of opportunity. A place where much is possible. To oppress the Middle Class now with a dictatorship in the courts is not only a bad idea based in principles and ideology, it is dangerous and will collapse the economy the Polish people have build in the last few decades.

November 4, 2015

Warsaw, Poland: Lamb rogan amritsari (click here) at an authentic Indian restaurant. Bánh mì, one of the world’s great sandwiches, prepared by an elderly Vietnamese woman. Beef goulash and rice-stuffed grape leaves at an authentic Georgian eatery. Weisse beer and bratwurst at a German beer hall. Sushi at a tiny but excellent sushi bar.

During my week of investment research in Poland, the only cuisine I didn’t eat was, well, Polish — though, to be fair, I was treated to a tasting menu built around traditional Polish ingredients at Poland’s only Michelin-starred restaurant.

Still, my point is this: This is Warsaw, formerly of bleak and bleary communist fame. Less than a generation ago, restaurant culture here did not exist. The best you could hope for was a so-called milk bar, a government-subsidized cafeteria offering the most basic soups, fried chops and pierogi (and, of course, milk). They were set up during the communist era as a place for workers to eat dinner away from home every once in a while for a miniscule amount of zloty, the Polish currency....

...It’s an opportunity that will likely see Poland’s middle class emerge as the best investment to make over the coming decade....

"Good Night, Moon"

The new moon

0.8 days old moon

0.7 percent lit

July 22, 2017
By Joe Rao

It seems (click here) that everyone is eagerly awaiting the shady drama that will be enacted in the skies over North America on Aug. 21. It is a play whose script was written eons ago: On that third Monday in August, the celestial wanderings of the sun, Earth and moon will cause our natural satellite to pass directly in front of the sun, resulting in a total eclipse on Aug. 21.
The narrow band of totality, averaging some 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide and stretching about 2,500 miles (4,023 km) from the Pacific coast of Oregon to the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, will provide a spectacle that has not been seen from any part of the contiguous United States in nearly 40 years.
To say that this has been an eagerly awaited astronomical event is an understatement.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Scientists involved in heading off a deadly troposphere beyond what it already is have looked into every type of sequestration in the world. 

May 4, 2015
By Madeline Fisher

For the past 20 years, (click here) researchers have published soil organic carbon sequestration rates. Many of these findings have suggested that soil organic carbon (SOC) can be sequestered in soil, or stored long-term, simply by switching from conventional tillage to no-till systems....

These are all important aspects of knowledge required to maximize the reduction of greenhouse gases, but, think for a minute the idea of simply not producing anymore. The oceans are become acidic in places where shellfish are suppose to thrive.

Greenhouse gases are displacing nitrogen in the soil and to what end, reduced crop production? 

The idea in Kyoto Protocol encouraged these scientific investigations and left no stone unturned, but, the real answer to the increase in greenhouse gases is to not emit them in the first place.

The political sphere likes the idea of accountability by those elected to the countries seats of power, but, never once do those same people hold themselves accountable for deteriorating Earth into the worst possible status to support life since it's birth.

This is just one article about scientists seeking the greatest ability of soil to sequester carbon.

Kindly remember, the idea of greenhouse gas sequestration in soil is a false positive. It is not so much a guaranteed storage place, so much as a FLUX of storage based on the greenhouse gas concentrations in the troposphere.
Simply put, the greenhouse gases in the ocean and land are there through an osmotic effect rather than a storage effect. The one true place carbon and GHGs are STORED is in the growth of trees, the biology of rainforests and the diets of baleen whales.
It's physics.

The large volume of sewage sludge (SS) generated with high carbon (C) and nutrient content suggests that its agricultural use may represent an important alternative to soil carbon sequestration and provides a potential substitute for synthetic fertilizers. However, emissions of CH4 and N2O could neutralize benefits with increases in soil C or saving fertilizer production because these gases have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) 25 and 298 times greater than CO2, respectively. Thus, this study aimed to determine C and N content as well as greenhouse gases (GHG) fluxes from soils historically amended with SS. Sewage sludge was applied between 2001 and 2007, and maize (Zea mays L.) was sowed in every year between 2001 and 2009. We evaluated three treatments: Control (mineral fertilizer), 1SS (recommended rate) and 2SS (double rate). Carbon stocks (0-40 cm) were 58.8, 72.5 and 83.1 Mg ha–1in the Control, 1SS and 2SS, respectively, whereas N stocks after two years without SS treatment were 4.8, 5.8, and 6.8 Mg ha–1, respectively. Soil CO2 flux was highly responsive to soil temperature in SS treatments, and soil water content greatly impacted gas flux in the Control. Soil N2O flux increased under the residual effects of SS, but in 1SS, the flux was similar to that found in moist tropical forests. Soil remained as a CH4sink. Large stores of carbon following historical SS application indicate that its use could be used as a method for carbon sequestration, even under tropical conditions.

Soil erodability. Soil condition is the key to understand.

Friability of soil refers to its crumbly texture, which is somewhere between sand and clay, not so fine and grainy like sand, or so thick and mushy like clay.A handful of friable soil when pressed hard, should form a lump,but the lump can be easily disintegrated.
Friable soil also will drain water very well, but also retain moisture like a wrung out sponge.Soil which is friable, is usually rich in carbon, minerals and organic http://matter. It will have sufficient porosity to allow oxygen to reach the roots.
The need for friable soil:
Plants grown in friable soil will be healthier, will have lush foliage, strong root systems and resistant to diseases and pests. Friable soil has tons of micro-organisms which will keep replenishing the fertility over time.
How to make clay soil friable :
Mix dried and powdered clay soil with equal volumes of coarse river sand and matured compost to retain its texture, keep mulching it with dry leaves, wood chips etc and maintain its moisture.Friable soil will not get hardened in the sun or become a slush in the rain ,the advantage being it also require less watering than clay.

Soil erodibility (click here) is an estimate of the ability of soils to resist erosion, based on the physical characteristics of each soil. Texture is the principal characteristic affecting erodibility, but structure, organic matter and permeability also contribute. Generally, soils with faster infiltration rates, higher levels of organic matter and improved soil structure have a greater resistance to erosion. Sand, sandy loam and loam-textured soils tend to be less erodible than silt, very fine sand and certain clay-textured soils.
Tillage and cropping practices that reduce soil organic matter levels, cause poor soil structure, or result in soil compaction, contribute to increases in soil erodibility. As an example, compacted subsurface soil layers can decrease infiltration and increase runoff. The formation of a soil crust, which tends to "seal" the surface, also decreases infiltration. On some sites, a soil crust might decrease the amount of soil loss from raindrop impact and splash; however, a corresponding increase in the amount of runoff water can contribute to more serious erosion problems....

Erosion is more than a loss of soil, it is a loss of crops, cash to pay the bills, but, also releases whatever tropospheric gases were trapped there. There are several types of erosion, none are good news and this is among the worst, called gully erosion.

...A soil’s physical condition — its degree of compaction, capacity for water storage and ease of drainage — is also critical to soil and plant health. Good soil tilth promotes rainfall infiltration, thereby reducing runoff and allowing moisture to be stored for later plant use. It also encourages proper root development....

...Among the important chemical determinants of a soil’s health are its pH, salt content and levels of available nutrients. Low quantities of nutrients, high levels of such toxic elements as aluminum and high concentrations of salts can adversely affect the growth of your crops. Healthy soils have adequate — but not excessive — nutrients. Excessive available nitrogen can make plants more attractive or susceptible to insects, and overabundant nitrogen and phosphorus can pollute surface and groundwater. Well-decomposed organic matter helps healthy soils hold onto calcium, magnesium and potassium, keeping these nutrients in the plants’ root zone.

The biological, physical and chemical aspects of soils all interact with and affect one another. For example, if your soil is very compact, it will have few large pores and thus will be less hospitable to such organisms as springtails, mites and earthworms. In addition, its lower levels of oxygen may influence both the forms of nutrients that are present and their availability; under anaerobic conditions, for instance, significant quantities of nitrate may be converted to gaseous nitrogen and lost to the atmosphere....